Tompkins Consulting Group Research Proposal

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Tompkins Consulting Group

The focus of the modern organizations has changed significantly throughout the past recent decades. Once concentrated exclusively on production, the modern economic agents are now striving to integrate and combine customer satisfaction, employee on the job satisfaction and increased shareholder value. Noteworthy efforts have been made in terms of cultural integration and acceptance and most of these efforts have been condensed into diversity training programs.

The Tompkins Consulting Group is a firm offering specialized consultancy in numerous aspects, including diversity training. They offered their assistance to Ambiguity Unlimited and despite the overall positive results, some negative aspects have been revealed. An analysis of the limitations encountered will support the future development of Tompkins.

Case Summary

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The case study presents the endeavors launched by EEO specialist Dan River in order to find consultants that could help the organization Ambiguity Unlimited in various tasks, including their reaching of the BoD directive. The primary role of the consultants would be that of offering training programs on workforce diversity for the supervisors and above staff. River first contacted Tompkins Consulting Group and solicited information on the services they could offer and the conditions for these services. He also pointed out that he would be requesting information from two international consultancy organizations. Tompkins replied with a generalist offering of training services in the field requested, but mentioned that a clearer schedule could only be possible with the answering of the questions related to the desired outcomes of the training, the audience of the training and the time that would be committed for the training.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Tompkins Consulting Group Assignment

In order to set the basis for a professional and fruitful relationship, Tommy Tompkins also annexed various organizational information to their offering. River had a rather tough time in making a decision, but in the end Ambiguity Unlimited chose to collaborate with the national consultant. The training session would be entitled Professional Effectiveness: Working with a Diverse Customer Base and would be aimed at improving relations between customers and staff members through a better understanding of multicultural and diversity features. The stated objectives of the program are to "reinforce what this level of management already knows about diversity in general; to create a context to discuss what the trends are related to diversity; and, to identify the diversity challenges for the organization" (case). Two sessions will be organized and employees will only have to attend one of them; the duration of the session will be of four hours and the company will have to provide the space for the meetings, the transportation of the consultants and other features, totaling to a $7,000 cost of the training. An additional contract was signed and it saw the offering of 10 more sessions throughout 12 weeks, provided for an estimated 480 employees and for a total cost of $35,000.

The general response to the training was a positive one, with 24 out of 40 evaluations stating the positive outcomes and developments of the diversity training program; 12 evaluations stated that the program was OK, but did not generate major impacts, and the remaining 4 evaluations stated that the program was a waste of time and generated no positive effects whatsoever.

3. Problems

With the completion of the training program, the Tompkins Consulting Group asked the employees at Ambiguity Unlimited to fill in evaluation forms. These revealed several positive aspects, but also negative ones. A clearer analysis of the less favorable reviews will lead to a proper identification of Tompkins' problem in approaching the trainees and delivering the services. This will in turn help improve their skills and further support the future development of the organization and the improvement in its product offering. The following lines will pin point to some of the most stringent problems as identified by the staff members at Ambiguity Unlimited.

A first issue is that several employees refused to participate to the survey. The causes for this reaction could be multiple, including personal desires to not become involved in corporate affairs, lack of interest in the subject treated or simply lack of time to complete the survey. This problem is rather important as, based on the responses from the employees, the Tompkins managers are able to assess the effectiveness of their efforts. Since they encountered a shortage of responses, the consultancy organization might be unable to report to the employer; moreover, this situation might in fact prove the lack of efficiency of the training program. Given these matters then, a resolution is crucial.

The Unlimited Ambiguity employees also pointed out that throughout the training program, most of the talking was done by the consultants. This meant that their opinions (the employees') remained mostly unsaid, generating as such dissatisfactions due to a feeling that they were being lectured. In order to increase the efficiency of the programs, the Tompkins Consulting Groups will have to achieve superior levels of interaction.

A third problem materialized in the dissatisfactions related to material issues. The participants to the training programs for instance complained that the lunch times were not properly respected, that the spaces were too small to properly host all participants to the classes or that they would have needed more sandwiches and refreshments. The management at Ambiguity Unlimited is to be blamed for most of these limitations as they were in charge of providing the material elements; however, Tompkins has to address them in order to increase the efficiency of their training programs and the satisfaction of the customers.

Also, the employees pointed out that the duration of the classes was too long. This resulted in their failure to pay attention at all times and reduced overall results. In addition, they also talked about the dissatisfaction related to the discussions outside the topic of interest. Otherwise put, the Tompkins consultants would at times engage in conversations that did not have a direct relationship with diversity issues. This generated negative effects from two standpoints - first of all, the employees were dissatisfied and lost interest in the main topic (diversity); secondly, the management at Ambiguity Unlimited felt that they were not benefiting at maximum from the large sums of money invested in the training programs.

Other issues referred to a need to be more specific when discussing, rather than offering general information. The employees argued that they could have used more actual and real life examples. Foremost, the integration of the managerial team would have been a positive take as it would have offered the employees a sense that their efforts are integrated in the corporate endeavors and that the training programs are incorporated in a greater development plan that would generate benefits for both individuals and organization.

4. Proposed Solutions

Complete surveys

The levels of survey participation are an indicator of loyalty and trust in the employer. This statement is proven by the simple fact that staff members who do not trust the organization, nor care about it, will not lose their time filling in surveys. High rates of survey completion reveal high levels of commitment to the employer. The question is then what can be done to encourage survey participation. The following three elements must be considered:

The employees must feel that their feelings, materialized in the responses to the survey will be considered by the managerial team and might make a difference within the organization

The questions in the survey have to be seen as meaningful and relevant for the employee answering them, and third

The employee must be entrusted that he will not suffer any negative repercussions from voicing his concerns (Joseph, 2009)

Other issues that must be addressed to increase the participation rates to survey include clarity, consistency and easy read format of the questions asked, the design of the survey or the prior announcement of the survey, which could familiarize the employees with the idea and reduce their reticence (Super Survey, 2005).

Better interactions

In order to avoid the dissatisfactions of the Ambiguity Unlimited employees from reoccurring, it is crucial for the Tompkins Consulting Group to pay more attention to the communication needs of the participants. Otherwise put, the consultants will have to listen to the problem from the standpoint of the participants to the training program. Also, it is advisable for the consultants to align the goals of the program with the goals of the organizational management, but also with the individual objectives of the staff members. In addition, they should accommodate the diverse learning styles and individual differences of the employees. Fourth, the consultants at Tompkins ought to implement teaching techniques that stimulate interactive and participatory learning. Finally, they should use feedback and questions from employees to continually improve the teaching methods (Six Interactions, 2007).

Material concerns

Most of the material concerns related to the training agenda are the responsibility of Ambiguity Unlimited, but Tompkins Consulting Groups should pay attention in the future so that the employers provide the participants to the training program with sufficient space, adequately aired facilities, rooms free from phonic pollution or sufficient refreshments. The chairs should be sufficient… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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